The Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) is responsible for Certificate of Use/Fire Safety Permit
inspections and Plans Review for construction as a part of the Certificate of Occupancy
program each year. Fire Prevention Division personnel conduct water flow tests, monitor
the hydrant and water supply system throughout the City of Miami, and conduct annual life
safety inspections in all hazardous material occupancies, hospital and institutional properties
within City of Miami jurisdictions. The Investigation Section responds to all fires of suspicious origins.
The Fire Prevention Bureau was started on January 1st, 1923 under Asst. Chief E. A. Westra and
one assigned inspector. The rapid growth of the City of Miami followed and by World War II a total
force of ten inspectors was assigned to the bureau. However, it was not until 1966 when ten people
died in a residential fire involving an overturned portable kerosene heater that prompted the City
Administration to pass a fire code. Ordinance 7431 became the fire protection chapter of the City Charter.
Presently, the Fire Prevention Bureau enforces extensive state and local fire and life safety codes.
Although not as glamorous or visible as the Emergency Response Division, the efforts of the Fire Prevention
division are widely recognized as the fire service continuous to evolve. The Fire Marshal has the tremendous
responsibility for prevention of death, injuries, and property loss caused by fire. This is accomplished through
the strict enforcement of complex Building, Fire, and Life Safety Codes.
The importance of these efforts and the significant life safety improvements that have been made over the last
few decades were brought to national attention with the tragic events of September 11th. Both World Trade Center
towers withstood the initial impact of a catastrophic event, well beyond what the buildings were designed to handle.
Modern building codes, public education, and life safety systems all worked together to allow countless people to evacuate safely.
District Inspectors handle numerous referrals from various sources including but not limited to Fire Companies,
Hazard Warning Tags, NET Offices, other departments and the general public.
In addition, the Fire Prevention Bureau provides the public with fire prevention and life safety information and
administers the Certificate of Use renewal program which provides for annual inspections of all existing buildings
for the required life safety code violations.